Congressional representatives from Maryland and D.C. on Friday told the U.S. Postmaster General they want the restoration of regular mail delivery after months of non-delivery problems that have plagued the area.
Residents in Bethesda this week have complained about not getting mail all week. Some say they haven’t got mail delivered since Wednesday, Feb. 12.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D.C. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Sen. Ben Cardin sent a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahue asking for the problem to be fixed.
Last month, a USPS spokesperson said mail service to areas of Bethesda may have been suspended for two days because of winter weather and that more than 20 delivery vehicles got stuck on snowy Bethesda roads. That came after complaints from a number of Bethesda residents who said their calls to the Westlake Post Office were not so well received.
“The manager claimed he had heard of no problem last week and that he had people go out at 8 a.m. to deliver mail that was not delivered yesterday,” Bradley Hills resident Diana Huffman wrote to us in an email. “Then, he told me that one delivery person had been injured slipping on ice but most importantly, after the killing of the postal employee in Landover, his people are told to come in as soon as it turns dark. He then told me he, ‘did not care about my problem.’”
Though U.S. Postal Service officials have blamed the weather for delays in statements to the media, some say the November shooting of mail carrier Tyson Barnette is part of the reason for the disruption in mail service.
A union rep told ABC7 this week that mail carriers are being directed to get off their routes by 6 p.m., whether they’ve finished delivering mail or not.
The Congressional members wrote that they recognized the safety issues, but the service disruptions require an immediate fix:
As you know, your customers depend on timely service to receive urgent mailings, including bills and prescriptions. We fully agree that it is necessary to protect worker safety in inclement weather and the evenings, particularly in light of the tragic death of Tyson Barnette, a US Postal Service letter carrier who was killed while delivering mail after dark in Landover, MD. A plan must be in place to protect worker safety and ensure that no homes or businesses experience multiple-day delays. These service disruptions require explanation and, more importantly, an immediate resolution.
Please let us know what you are doing to immediately restore regular and reliable mail delivery to our constituents. Thank you for your prompt attention to this issue.
Flickr photo by Nicole’